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Adopting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software

January 4, 2011 1 comment

     With all the buzz over web marketing, social media, smart phones, apps, etc.,  cluttering up the blog sites and news feeds, it’s extremely easy for businesses to overlook even the most basic principles and practices in sales and marketing.  If you stop and think about it, although new technology changes the way we conduct business, the core principles behind our practices rarely change.  Businesses need to generate and qualify leads, engage in communication throughout the sales cycle, convert leads to customers, and then nurture the ongoing customer relationship.  In order for this to be done successfully, businesses must be able to organize, track, store, share, and recall this data.  Here’s a newsflash folks…execution will become increasingly important.  I recently read a statistic that Business Intelligence (BI) has remained the #1 technology expenditure for top companies for the last 2 years.  Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a major component of BI.  Let’s explore how CRM can benefit your business.

     There are many CRM solutions available, but Microsoft Dynamics CRM is our platform of choice for its low cost of adoption, familiarity and ease of use, and immediate integration within Outlook and other essential Microsoft products.  Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows companies to:

  • Capture and track leads all in one system.
  • Qualify and convert leads into Accounts.
  • Easily assign and track all Contacts associated to an Account.
  • Create and track Opportunities.
  • Launch and track Campaigns.
  • Create Workflows based on person, team, or organization.
  • Assign tasks and activities.
  • Easily track e-mail communications, documents, and histories.
  • Compile reports and review analytics.
  • Access from multiple locations and mobile devices.

     These are some of the main functions, but there are many more features included with Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The benefits that your company will experience from adopting this type of CRM platform are priceless…increased productivity, communication within the organization, better insight into marketing ROI, real sales analytics, informed conversations with leads/customers, and improved sales.  Let’s look at some very simple, yet practical applications of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in this excerpt from another one of my blog articles.

Begin a marketing list or enhance your existing one – Cost:  $0 to $50/mo per user (depending on database software) – How many people interact with your business that you never get a name or contact information from?  Your website should be generating contacts for your marketing list on a regular basis.  If it’s not, then you probably don’t have an appropriate web form and call-to-action to encourage signups.  Your call-to-action should have prominent placement on basically every page of your website.  You should have customer information sheets in your store or office that every person who comes in is encouraged to fill out.  You should request (as applicable) their company name, contact name, mobile number, work number, email, physical address, preferred contact method, birthday, plus other information as it relates to your business such as product interests, products owned, industry, job title, etc.  Any networking groups, tradeshows, or industry events you attend should also be leveraged for as many business cards and contact forms you can get your hands on.  The database you build becomes a list of contacts, leads, opportunities, and accounts.  You can market to your list in multiple ways at various times.  Send an email campaign announcing your new company website, send a direct mailer promoting your special internet-only sale, send a written invitation to attend your company open-house, make phone calls to invite people to an exclusive new product “sneak peek”, the possibilities are endless!  You can accomplish this with little to no cost, but I highly recommend a quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.  At SRC Technology we use, highly recommend, and sell Microsoft Dynamics CRM (contact me for info), but numerous possibilities exist.

    

     If your organization is not using a customer database at all, or is relying on primitive notepads and excel spreadsheets, you are penalizing your company more in lost sales and lack of productivity than it would cost to implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

     I would love the opportunity to meet and discuss your business and how you could adopt Microsoft Dynamics CRM into your Business Intelligence strategy.  This is an extremely powerful technology that will help business owners and sales/marketing managers operate more efficiently and capitalize on more opportunities for revenue.  In today’s world, who can afford to miss out?

If you would like an informational meeting to discuss your business and how Microsoft Dynamics CRM may fit into your organization, please call or email me at your earliest convenience.

 Josh Davis, Technology Strategist – SRC Technology Solutions

 joshd@srctechnology.com – (423) 267-0588

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